History of the Internet | Wikipedia audio article


The history of the Internet begins with the
development of electronic computers in the 1950s. Initial concepts of wide area networking
originated in several computer science laboratories in the United States, United Kingdom, and
France. The U.S. Department of Defense awarded contracts as early as the 1960s, including
for the development of the ARPANET project, directed by Robert Taylor and managed by Lawrence
Roberts. The first message was sent over the ARPANET in 1969 from computer science Professor
Leonard Kleinrock’s laboratory at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to the second
network node at Stanford Research Institute (SRI).
Packet switching networks such as the NPL network, ARPANET, Tymnet, Merit Network, CYCLADES,
and Telenet, were developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s using a variety of communications
protocols. Donald Davies first demonstrated packet switching in 1967 at the National Physics
Laboratory (NPL) in the UK, which became a testbed for UK research for almost two decades.
The ARPANET project led to the development of protocols for internetworking, in which
multiple separate networks could be joined into a network of networks.
The Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) was developed by Robert E. Kahn and Vint Cerf in the 1970s
and became the standard networking protocol on the ARPANET, incorporating concepts from
the French CYCLADES project directed by Louis Pouzin. In the early 1980s the NSF funded
the establishment for national supercomputing centers at several universities, and provided
interconnectivity in 1986 with the NSFNET project, which also created network access
to the supercomputer sites in the United States from research and education organizations.
Commercial Internet service providers (ISPs) began to emerge in the very late 1980s. The
ARPANET was decommissioned in 1990. Limited private connections to parts of the Internet
by officially commercial entities emerged in several American cities by late 1989 and
1990, and the NSFNET was decommissioned in 1995, removing the last restrictions on the
use of the Internet to carry commercial traffic. In the 1980s, research at CERN in Switzerland
by British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee resulted in the World Wide Web, linking hypertext
documents into an information system, accessible from any node on the network. Since the mid-1990s,
the Internet has had a revolutionary impact on culture, commerce, and technology, including
the rise of near-instant communication by electronic mail, instant messaging, voice
over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone calls, two-way interactive video calls, and the World
Wide Web with its discussion forums, blogs, social networking, and online shopping sites.
The research and education community continues to develop and use advanced networks such
as JANET in the United Kingdom and Internet2 in the United States. Increasing amounts of
data are transmitted at higher and higher speeds over fiber optic networks operating
at 1 Gbit/s, 10 Gbit/s, or more. The Internet’s takeover of the global communication landscape
was almost instant in historical terms: it only communicated 1% of the information flowing
through two-way telecommunications networks in the year 1993, already 51% by 2000, and
more than 97% of the telecommunicated information by 2007. Today the Internet continues to grow,
driven by ever greater amounts of online information, commerce, entertainment, and social networking.
However, the future of the global internet may be shaped by regional differences in the
world.==Precursors==The concept of data communication – transmitting
data between two different places through an electromagnetic medium such as radio or
an electric wire – pre-dates the introduction of the first computers. Such communication
systems were typically limited to point to point communication between two end devices.
Semaphore lines, telegraph systems and telex machines can be considered early precursors
of this kind of communication. The Telegraph in the late 19th century was the first fully
digital communication system. Fundamental theoretical work in data transmission
and information theory was developed by Claude Shannon, Harry Nyquist, and Ralph Hartley
in the early 20th century. Early computers had a central processing unit
and remote terminals. As the technology evolved, new systems were devised to allow communication
over longer distances (for terminals) or with higher speed (for interconnection of local
devices) that were necessary for the mainframe computer model. These technologies made it
possible to exchange data (such as files) between remote computers. However, the point-to-point
communication model was limited, as it did not allow for direct communication between
any two arbitrary systems; a physical link was necessary. The technology was also considered
unsafe for strategic and military use because there were no alternative paths for the communication
in case of an enemy attack.==Development of wide area networking==
With limited exceptions, the earliest computers were connected directly to terminals used
by individual users, typically in the same building or site. Such networks became known
as local area networks (LANs). Networking beyond this scope, known as wide area networks
(WANs), emerged during the 1950s and became established during the 1960s.===Inspiration===
J. C. R. Licklider, Vice President at Bolt Beranek and Newman, Inc., proposed a global
network in his January 1960 paper Man-Computer Symbiosis:
A network of such centers, connected to one another by wide-band communication lines […] the
functions of present-day libraries together with anticipated advances in information storage
and retrieval and symbiotic functions suggested earlier in this paper In August 1962, Licklider and Welden Clark
published the paper “On-Line Man-Computer Communication” which was one of the first
descriptions of a networked future. In October 1962, Licklider was hired by Jack
Ruina as director of the newly established Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO)
within DARPA, with a mandate to interconnect the United States Department of Defense’s
main computers at Cheyenne Mountain, the Pentagon, and SAC HQ. There he formed an informal group
within DARPA to further computer research. He began by writing memos describing a distributed
network to the IPTO staff, whom he called “Members and Affiliates of the Intergalactic
Computer Network”. As part of the information processing office’s role, three network terminals
had been installed: one for System Development Corporation in Santa Monica, one for Project
Genie at University of California, Berkeley, and one for the Compatible Time-Sharing System
project at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Licklider’s identified need for inter-networking
would become obvious by the apparent waste of resources this caused. For each of these three terminals, I had three
different sets of user commands. So if I was talking online with someone at S.D.C. and
I wanted to talk to someone I knew at Berkeley or M.I.T. about this, I had to get up from
the S.D.C. terminal, go over and log into the other terminal and get in touch with them….
I said, oh man, it’s obvious what to do: If you have these three terminals, there ought
to be one terminal that goes anywhere you want to go where you have interactive computing.
That idea is the ARPAnet. Although he left the IPTO in 1964, five years
before the ARPANET went live, it was his vision of universal networking that provided the
impetus for one of his successors, Robert Taylor, to initiate the ARPANET development.
Licklider later returned to lead the IPTO in 1973 for two years.===Development of packet switching===The issue of connecting separate physical
networks to form one logical network was the first of many problems. Early networks used
message switched systems that required rigid routing structures prone to single point of
failure. In the 1960s, Paul Baran of the RAND Corporation produced a study of survivable
networks for the U.S. military in the event of nuclear war. Information transmitted across
Baran’s network would be divided into what he called “message blocks”. Independently,
Donald Davies (National Physical Laboratory, UK), proposed and was the first to put into
practice a local area network based on what he called packet switching, the term that
would ultimately be adopted. Larry Roberts applied Davies’ concepts of packet switching
for the ARPANET wide area network, and sought input from Paul Baran and Leonard Kleinrock.
Kleinrock subsequently developed the mathematical theory behind the performance of this technology
building on his earlier work on queueing theory.Packet switching is a rapid store and forward networking
design that divides messages up into arbitrary packets, with routing decisions made per-packet.
It provides better bandwidth utilization and response times than the traditional circuit-switching
technology used for telephony, particularly on resource-limited interconnection links.===Networks that led to the Internet=======NPL network====Following discussions with J. C. R. Licklider,
Donald Davies became interested in data communications for computer networks. At the National Physical
Laboratory (United Kingdom) in 1965, Davies designed and proposed a national data network
based on packet switching. The following year, he described the use of an “Interface computer”
to act as a router. The proposal was not taken up nationally but by 1967, a pilot experiment
had demonstrated the feasibility of packet switched networks.By 1969 he had begun building
the Mark I packet-switched network to meet the needs of the multidisciplinary laboratory
and prove the technology under operational conditions. In 1976, 12 computers and 75 terminal
devices were attached, and more were added until the network was replaced in 1986. NPL,
followed by ARPANET, were the first two networks in the world to use packet switching, and
were interconnected in the early 1970s.====ARPANET====Robert Taylor was promoted to the head of
the information processing office at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
in June 1966. He intended to realize Licklider’s ideas of an interconnected networking system.
Bringing in Larry Roberts from MIT, he initiated a project to build such a network. The first
ARPANET link was established between the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the
Stanford Research Institute at 22:30 hours on October 29, 1969.
“We set up a telephone connection between us and the guys at SRI …”, Kleinrock … said
in an interview: “We typed the L and we asked on the phone,
“Do you see the L?” “Yes, we see the L,” came the response.
We typed the O, and we asked, “Do you see the O.”
“Yes, we see the O.” Then we typed the G, and the system crashed
…Yet a revolution had begun” …. By December 5, 1969, a 4-node network was
connected by adding the University of Utah and the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Building on ideas developed in ALOHAnet, the ARPANET grew rapidly. By 1981, the number
of hosts had grown to 213, with a new host being added approximately every twenty days.ARPANET
development was centered around the Request for Comments (RFC) process, still used today
for proposing and distributing Internet Protocols and Systems. RFC 1, entitled “Host Software”,
was written by Steve Crocker from the University of California, Los Angeles, and published
on April 7, 1969. These early years were documented in the 1972 film Computer Networks: The Heralds
of Resource Sharing. ARPANET became the technical core of what
would become the Internet, and a primary tool in developing the technologies used. The early
ARPANET used the Network Control Program (NCP, sometimes Network Control Protocol) rather
than TCP/IP. On January 1, 1983, known as flag day, NCP on the ARPANET was replaced
by the more flexible and powerful family of TCP/IP protocols, marking the start of the
modern Internet.International collaborations on ARPANET were sparse. For various political
reasons, European developers were concerned with developing the X.25 networks. Notable
exceptions were the Norwegian Seismic Array (NORSAR) in 1972, followed in 1973 by Sweden
with satellite links to the Tanum Earth Station and Peter Kirstein’s research group in the
UK, initially at the Institute of Computer Science, London University and later at University
College London.====Merit Network====
The Merit Network was formed in 1966 as the Michigan Educational Research Information
Triad to explore computer networking between three of Michigan’s public universities as
a means to help the state’s educational and economic development. With initial support
from the State of Michigan and the National Science Foundation (NSF), the packet-switched
network was first demonstrated in December 1971 when an interactive host to host connection
was made between the IBM mainframe computer systems at the University of Michigan in Ann
Arbor and Wayne State University in Detroit. In October 1972 connections to the CDC mainframe
at Michigan State University in East Lansing completed the triad. Over the next several
years in addition to host to host interactive connections the network was enhanced to support
terminal to host connections, host to host batch connections (remote job submission,
remote printing, batch file transfer), interactive file transfer, gateways to the Tymnet and
Telenet public data networks, X.25 host attachments, gateways to X.25 data networks, Ethernet attached
hosts, and eventually TCP/IP and additional public universities in Michigan join the network.
All of this set the stage for Merit’s role in the NSFNET project starting in the mid-1980s.====CYCLADES====
The CYCLADES packet switching network was a French research network designed and directed
by Louis Pouzin. First demonstrated in 1973, it was developed to explore alternatives to
the early ARPANET design and to support network research generally. It was the first network
to make the hosts responsible for reliable delivery of data, rather than the network
itself, using unreliable datagrams and associated end-to-end protocol mechanisms. Concepts of
this network influenced later ARPANET architecture.====X.25 and public data networks====Based on ARPA’s research, packet switching
network standards were developed by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in the form
of X.25 and related standards. While using packet switching, X.25 is built on the concept
of virtual circuits emulating traditional telephone connections. In 1974, X.25 formed
the basis for the SERCnet network between British academic and research sites, which
later became JANET. The initial ITU Standard on X.25 was approved in March 1976.The British
Post Office, Western Union International and Tymnet collaborated to create the first international
packet switched network, referred to as the International Packet Switched Service (IPSS),
in 1978. This network grew from Europe and the US to cover Canada, Hong Kong, and Australia
by 1981. By the 1990s it provided a worldwide networking infrastructure.Unlike ARPANET,
X.25 was commonly available for business use. Telenet offered its Telemail electronic mail
service, which was also targeted to enterprise use rather than the general email system of
the ARPANET. The first public dial-in networks used asynchronous
TTY terminal protocols to reach a concentrator operated in the public network. Some networks,
such as CompuServe, used X.25 to multiplex the terminal sessions into their packet-switched
backbones, while others, such as Tymnet, used proprietary protocols. In 1979, CompuServe
became the first service to offer electronic mail capabilities and technical support to
personal computer users. The company broke new ground again in 1980 as the first to offer
real-time chat with its CB Simulator. Other major dial-in networks were America Online
(AOL) and Prodigy that also provided communications, content, and entertainment features. Many
bulletin board system (BBS) networks also provided on-line access, such as FidoNet which
was popular amongst hobbyist computer users, many of them hackers and amateur radio operators.====UUCP and Usenet====In 1979, two students at Duke University,
Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis, originated the idea of using Bourne shell scripts to transfer
news and messages on a serial line UUCP connection with nearby University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill. Following public release of the software in 1980, the mesh of UUCP hosts forwarding
on the Usenet news rapidly expanded. UUCPnet, as it would later be named, also created gateways
and links between FidoNet and dial-up BBS hosts. UUCP networks spread quickly due to
the lower costs involved, ability to use existing leased lines, X.25 links or even ARPANET connections,
and the lack of strict use policies compared to later networks like CSNET and Bitnet. All
connects were local. By 1981 the number of UUCP hosts had grown to 550, nearly doubling
to 940 in 1984. – Sublink Network, operating since 1987 and officially founded in Italy
in 1989, based its interconnectivity upon UUCP to redistribute mail and news groups
messages throughout its Italian nodes (about 100 at the time) owned both by private individuals
and small companies. Sublink Network represented possibly one of the first examples of the
Internet technology becoming progress through popular diffusion.===Merging the
networks and creating the Internet (1973–95)=======TCP/IP====With so many different network methods, something
was needed to unify them. Robert E. Kahn of DARPA and ARPANET recruited Vinton Cerf of
Stanford University to work with him on the problem. By 1973, they had worked out a fundamental
reformulation, where the differences between network protocols were hidden by using a common
internetwork protocol, and instead of the network being responsible for reliability,
as in the ARPANET, the hosts became responsible. Cerf credits Hubert Zimmermann, Gerard LeLann
and Louis Pouzin (designer of the CYCLADES network) with important work on this design.The
specification of the resulting protocol, RFC 675 – Specification of Internet Transmission
Control Program, by Vinton Cerf, Yogen Dalal and Carl Sunshine, Network Working Group,
December 1974, contains the first attested use of the term internet, as a shorthand for
internetworking; later RFCs repeat this use, so the word started out as an adjective rather
than the noun it is today. With the role of the network reduced to the
bare minimum, it became possible to join almost any networks together, no matter what their
characteristics were, thereby solving Kahn’s initial problem. DARPA agreed to fund development
of prototype software, and after several years of work, the first demonstration of a gateway
between the Packet Radio network in the SF Bay area and the ARPANET was conducted by
the Stanford Research Institute. On November 22, 1977 a three network demonstration was
conducted including the ARPANET, the SRI’s Packet Radio Van on the Packet Radio Network
and the Atlantic Packet Satellite network.Stemming from the first specifications of TCP in 1974,
TCP/IP emerged in mid-late 1978 in nearly its final form, as used for the first decades
of the Internet, known as “IPv4”. which is described in IETF publication RFC 791 (September
1981). IPv4 uses 32-bit addresses which limits the
address space to 232 addresses, i.e. 4294967296 addresses. The last available IPv4 address
was assigned in January 2011. IPv4 is being replaced by its successor, called “IPv6”,
which uses 128 bit addresses, providing 2128 addresses, i.e. 340282366920938463463374607431768211456.
This is a vastly increased address space. The shift to IPv6 is expected to take many
years, decades, or perhaps longer, to complete, since there were four billion machines with
IPv4 when the shift began.The associated standards for IPv4 were published by 1981 as RFCs 791,
792 and 793, and adopted for use. DARPA sponsored or encouraged the development of TCP/IP implementations
for many operating systems and then scheduled a migration of all hosts on all of its packet
networks to TCP/IP. On January 1, 1983, known as flag day, TCP/IP protocols became the only
approved protocol on the ARPANET, replacing the earlier NCP protocol.====From ARPANET to NSFNET====After the ARPANET had been up and running
for several years, ARPA looked for another agency to hand off the network to; ARPA’s
primary mission was funding cutting edge research and development, not running a communications
utility. Eventually, in July 1975, the network had been turned over to the Defense Communications
Agency, also part of the Department of Defense. In 1983, the U.S. military portion of the
ARPANET was broken off as a separate network, the MILNET. MILNET subsequently became the
unclassified but military-only NIPRNET, in parallel with the SECRET-level SIPRNET and
JWICS for TOP SECRET and above. NIPRNET does have controlled security gateways to the public
Internet. The networks based on the ARPANET were government
funded and therefore restricted to noncommercial uses such as research; unrelated commercial
use was strictly forbidden. This initially restricted connections to military sites and
universities. During the 1980s, the connections expanded to more educational institutions,
and even to a growing number of companies such as Digital Equipment Corporation and
Hewlett-Packard, which were participating in research projects or providing services
to those who were. Several other branches of the U.S. government,
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF),
and the Department of Energy (DOE) became heavily involved in Internet research and
started development of a successor to ARPANET. In the mid-1980s, all three of these branches
developed the first Wide Area Networks based on TCP/IP. NASA developed the NASA Science
Network, NSF developed CSNET and DOE evolved the Energy Sciences Network or ESNet. NASA developed the TCP/IP based NASA Science
Network (NSN) in the mid-1980s, connecting space scientists to data and information stored
anywhere in the world. In 1989, the DECnet-based Space Physics Analysis Network (SPAN) and
the TCP/IP-based NASA Science Network (NSN) were brought together at NASA Ames Research
Center creating the first multiprotocol wide area network called the NASA Science Internet,
or NSI. NSI was established to provide a totally integrated communications infrastructure to
the NASA scientific community for the advancement of earth, space and life sciences. As a high-speed,
multiprotocol, international network, NSI provided connectivity to over 20,000 scientists
across all seven continents. In 1981 NSF supported the development of the
Computer Science Network (CSNET). CSNET connected with ARPANET using TCP/IP, and ran TCP/IP
over X.25, but it also supported departments without sophisticated network connections,
using automated dial-up mail exchange. In 1986, the NSF created NSFNET, a 56 kbit/s
backbone to support the NSF-sponsored supercomputing centers. The NSFNET also provided support
for the creation of regional research and education networks in the United States, and
for the connection of university and college campus networks to the regional networks.
The use of NSFNET and the regional networks was not limited to supercomputer users and
the 56 kbit/s network quickly became overloaded. NSFNET was upgraded to 1.5 Mbit/s in 1988
under a cooperative agreement with the Merit Network in partnership with IBM, MCI, and
the State of Michigan. The existence of NSFNET and the creation of Federal Internet Exchanges
(FIXes) allowed the ARPANET to be decommissioned in 1990. NSFNET was expanded and upgraded
to 45 Mbit/s in 1991, and was decommissioned in 1995 when it was replaced by backbones
operated by several commercial Internet Service Providers.====Transition towards the Internet====
The term “internet” was adopted in the first RFC published on the TCP protocol (RFC 675:
Internet Transmission Control Program, December 1974) as an abbreviation of the term internetworking
and the two terms were used interchangeably. In general, an internet was any network using
TCP/IP. It was around the time when ARPANET was interlinked with NSFNET in the late 1980s,
that the term was used as the name of the network, Internet, being the large and global
TCP/IP network.As interest in networking grew and new applications for it were developed,
the Internet’s technologies spread throughout the rest of the world. The network-agnostic
approach in TCP/IP meant that it was easy to use any existing network infrastructure,
such as the IPSS X.25 network, to carry Internet traffic. In 1982, one year earlier than ARPANET,
University College London replaced its transatlantic satellite links with TCP/IP over IPSS.Many
sites unable to link directly to the Internet created simple gateways for the transfer of
electronic mail, the most important application of the time. Sites with only intermittent
connections used UUCP or FidoNet and relied on the gateways between these networks and
the Internet. Some gateway services went beyond simple mail peering, such as allowing access
to File Transfer Protocol (FTP) sites via UUCP or mail.Finally, routing technologies
were developed for the Internet to remove the remaining centralized routing aspects.
The Exterior Gateway Protocol (EGP) was replaced by a new protocol, the Border Gateway Protocol
(BGP). This provided a meshed topology for the Internet and reduced the centric architecture
which ARPANET had emphasized. In 1994, Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR) was introduced
to support better conservation of address space which allowed use of route aggregation
to decrease the size of routing tables.===TCP/IP goes global (1980s)=======CERN, the European Internet, the link
to the Pacific and beyond====Between 1984 and 1988 CERN began installation
and operation of TCP/IP to interconnect its major internal computer systems, workstations,
PCs and an accelerator control system. CERN continued to operate a limited self-developed
system (CERNET) internally and several incompatible (typically proprietary) network protocols
externally. There was considerable resistance in Europe towards more widespread use of TCP/IP,
and the CERN TCP/IP intranets remained isolated from the Internet until 1989.
In 1988, Daniel Karrenberg, from Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in Amsterdam, visited
Ben Segal, CERN’s TCP/IP Coordinator, looking for advice about the transition of the European
side of the UUCP Usenet network (much of which ran over X.25 links) over to TCP/IP. In 1987,
Ben Segal had met with Len Bosack from the then still small company Cisco about purchasing
some TCP/IP routers for CERN, and was able to give Karrenberg advice and forward him
on to Cisco for the appropriate hardware. This expanded the European portion of the
Internet across the existing UUCP networks, and in 1989 CERN opened its first external
TCP/IP connections. This coincided with the creation of Réseaux IP Européens (RIPE),
initially a group of IP network administrators who met regularly to carry out coordination
work together. Later, in 1992, RIPE was formally registered as a cooperative in Amsterdam.
At the same time as the rise of internetworking in Europe, ad hoc networking to ARPA and in-between
Australian universities formed, based on various technologies such as X.25 and UUCPNet. These
were limited in their connection to the global networks, due to the cost of making individual
international UUCP dial-up or X.25 connections. In 1989, Australian universities joined the
push towards using IP protocols to unify their networking infrastructures. AARNet was formed
in 1989 by the Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee and provided a dedicated IP based
network for Australia. The Internet began to penetrate Asia in the
1980s. In May 1982 South Korea became the second country to successfully set up TCP/IP
IPv4 network. Japan, which had built the UUCP-based network JUNET in 1984, connected to NSFNET
in 1989. It hosted the annual meeting of the Internet Society, INET’92, in Kobe. Singapore
developed TECHNET in 1990, and Thailand gained a global Internet connection between Chulalongkorn
University and UUNET in 1992.====The early global “digital divide” emerges
====While developed countries with technological
infrastructures were joining the Internet, developing countries began to experience a
digital divide separating them from the Internet. On an essentially continental basis, they
are building organizations for Internet resource administration and sharing operational experience,
as more and more transmission facilities go into place.=====Africa=====
At the beginning of the 1990s, African countries relied upon X.25 IPSS and 2400 baud modem
UUCP links for international and internetwork computer communications.
In August 1995, InfoMail Uganda, Ltd., a privately held firm in Kampala now known as InfoCom,
and NSN Network Services of Avon, Colorado, sold in 1997 and now known as Clear Channel
Satellite, established Africa’s first native TCP/IP high-speed satellite Internet services.
The data connection was originally carried by a C-Band RSCC Russian satellite which connected
InfoMail’s Kampala offices directly to NSN’s MAE-West point of presence using a private
network from NSN’s leased ground station in New Jersey. InfoCom’s first satellite connection
was just 64 kbit/s, serving a Sun host computer and twelve US Robotics dial-up modems.
In 1996, a USAID funded project, the Leland Initiative, started work on developing full
Internet connectivity for the continent. Guinea, Mozambique, Madagascar and Rwanda gained satellite
earth stations in 1997, followed by Ivory Coast and Benin in 1998.
Africa is building an Internet infrastructure. AfriNIC, headquartered in Mauritius, manages
IP address allocation for the continent. As do the other Internet regions, there is an
operational forum, the Internet Community of Operational Networking Specialists.There
are many programs to provide high-performance transmission plant, and the western and southern
coasts have undersea optical cable. High-speed cables join North Africa and the Horn of Africa
to intercontinental cable systems. Undersea cable development is slower for East Africa;
the original joint effort between New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the East
Africa Submarine System (Eassy) has broken off and may become two efforts.=====Asia and Oceania=====
The Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC), headquartered in Australia, manages
IP address allocation for the continent. APNIC sponsors an operational forum, the Asia-Pacific
Regional Internet Conference on Operational Technologies (APRICOT).South Korea’s first
Internet system, the System Development Network (SDN) began operation on 15 May 1982. SDN
was connected to the rest of the world in August 1983 using UUCP (Unixto-Unix-Copy);
connected to CSNET in December 1984; and formally connected to the U.S. Internet in 1990.In
1991, the People’s Republic of China saw its first TCP/IP college network, Tsinghua University’s
TUNET. The PRC went on to make its first global Internet connection in 1994, between the Beijing
Electro-Spectrometer Collaboration and Stanford University’s Linear Accelerator Center. However,
China went on to implement its own digital divide by implementing a country-wide content
filter.=====Latin America=====
As with the other regions, the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry
(LACNIC) manages the IP address space and other resources for its area. LACNIC, headquartered
in Uruguay, operates DNS root, reverse DNS, and other key services.===Rise of the global Internet (late 1980s/early
1990s onward)===Initially, as with its predecessor networks,
the system that would evolve into the Internet was primarily for government and government
body use. However, interest in commercial use of the
Internet quickly became a commonly debated topic. Although commercial use was forbidden,
the exact definition of commercial use was unclear and subjective. UUCPNet and the X.25
IPSS had no such restrictions, which would eventually see the official barring of UUCPNet
use of ARPANET and NSFNET connections. (Some UUCP links still remained connecting to these
networks however, as administrators cast a blind eye to their operation.) As a result, during the late 1980s, the first
Internet service provider (ISP) companies were formed. Companies like PSINet, UUNET,
Netcom, and Portal Software were formed to provide service to the regional research networks
and provide alternate network access, UUCP-based email and Usenet News to the public. The first
commercial dialup ISP in the United States was The World, which opened in 1989.In 1992,
the U.S. Congress passed the Scientific and Advanced-Technology Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1862(g),
which allowed NSF to support access by the research and education communities to computer
networks which were not used exclusively for research and education purposes, thus permitting
NSFNET to interconnect with commercial networks. This caused controversy within the research
and education community, who were concerned commercial use of the network might lead to
an Internet that was less responsive to their needs, and within the community of commercial
network providers, who felt that government subsidies were giving an unfair advantage
to some organizations.By 1990, ARPANET’s goals had been fulfilled and new networking technologies
exceeded the original scope and the project came to a close. New network service providers
including PSINet, Alternet, CERFNet, ANS CO+RE, and many others were offering network access
to commercial customers. NSFNET was no longer the de facto backbone and exchange point of
the Internet. The Commercial Internet eXchange (CIX), Metropolitan Area Exchanges (MAEs),
and later Network Access Points (NAPs) were becoming the primary interconnections between
many networks. The final restrictions on carrying commercial traffic ended on April 30, 1995
when the National Science Foundation ended its sponsorship of the NSFNET Backbone Service
and the service ended. NSF provided initial support for the NAPs and interim support to
help the regional research and education networks transition to commercial ISPs. NSF also sponsored
the very high speed Backbone Network Service (vBNS) which continued to provide support
for the supercomputing centers and research and education in the United States.====World Wide Web and introduction of browsers
====The World Wide Web (sometimes abbreviated
“www” or “W3”) is an information space where documents and other web resources are identified
by URIs, interlinked by hypertext links, and can be accessed via the Internet using a web
browser and (more recently) web-based applications. It has become known simply as “the Web”. As
of the 2010s, the World Wide Web is the primary tool billions use to interact on the Internet,
and it has changed people’s lives immeasurably.Precursors to the web browser emerged in the form of
hyperlinked applications during the mid and late 1980s (the bare concept of hyperlinking
had by then existed for some decades). Following these, Tim Berners-Lee is credited with inventing
the World Wide Web in 1989 and developing in 1990 both the first web server, and the
first web browser, called WorldWideWeb (no spaces) and later renamed Nexus. Many others
were soon developed, with Marc Andreessen’s 1993 Mosaic (later Netscape), being particularly
easy to use and install, and often credited with sparking the internet boom of the 1990s.
Today, the major web browsers are Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Opera and
Safari.A boost in web users was triggered in September 1993 by NCSA Mosaic, a graphical
browser which eventually ran on several popular office and home computers. This was the first
web browser aiming to bring multimedia content to non-technical users, and therefore included
images and text on the same page, unlike previous browser designs; its founder, Marc Andreessen,
also established the company that in 1994, released Netscape Navigator, which resulted
in one of the early browser wars, when it ended up in a competition for dominance (which
it lost) with Microsoft Windows’ Internet Explorer. Commercial use restrictions were
lifted in 1995. The online service America Online (AOL) offered their users a connection
to the Internet via their own internal browser.====Use in wider society 1990s to early 2000s
(Web 1.0)====During the first decade or so of the public
internet, the immense changes it would eventually enable in the 2000s were still nascent. In
terms of providing context for this period, mobile cellular devices (“smartphones” and
other cellular devices) which today provide near-universal access, were used for business
and not a routine household item owned by parents and children worldwide. Social media
in the modern sense had yet to come into existence, laptops were bulky and most households did
not have computers. Data rates were slow and most people lacked means to video or digitize
video; media storage was transitioning slowly from analog tape to digital optical discs
(DVD and to an extent still, floppy disc to CD). Enabling technologies used from the early
2000s such as PHP, modern Javascript and Java, technologies such as AJAX, HTML 4 (and its
emphasis on CSS), and various software frameworks, which enabled and simplified speed of web
development, largely awaited invention and their eventual widespread adoption.
The Internet was widely used for mailing lists, emails, e-commerce and early popular online
shopping (Amazon and eBay for example), online forums and bulletin boards, and personal websites
and blogs, and use was growing rapidly, but by more modern standards the systems used
were static and lacked widespread social engagement. It awaited a number of events in the early
2000s to change from a communications technology to gradually develop into a key part of global
society’s infrastructure. Typical design elements of these “Web 1.0”
era websites included: Static pages instead of dynamic HTML; content served from filesystems
instead of relational databases; pages built using Server Side Includes or CGI instead
of a web application written in a dynamic programming language; HTML 3.2-era structures
such as frames and tables to create page layouts; online guestbooks; overuse of GIF buttons
and similar small graphics promoting particular items; and HTML forms sent via email. (Support
for server side scripting was rare on shared servers so the usual feedback mechanism was
via email, using mailto forms and their email program.During the period 1997 to 2001, the
first speculative investment bubble related to the Internet took place, in which “dot-com”
companies (referring to the “.com” top level domain used by businesses) were propelled
to exceedingly high valuations as investors rapidly stoked stock values, followed by a
market crash; the first dot-com bubble. However this only temporarily slowed enthusiasm and
growth, which quickly recovered and continued to grow.
The changes that would propel the Internet into its place as a social system took place
during a relatively short period of no more than five years, starting from around 2004.
They included: The call to “Web 2.0” in 2004 (first suggested
in 1999), Accelerating adoption and commoditization
among households of, and familiarity with, the necessary hardware (such as computers).
Accelerating storage technology and data access speeds – hard drives emerged, took over
from far smaller, slower floppy discs, and grew from megabytes to gigabytes (and by around
2010, terabytes), RAM from hundreds of kilobytes to gigabytes as typical amounts on a system,
and Ethernet, the enabling technology for TCP/IP, moved from common speeds of kilobits
to tens of megabits per second, to gigabits per second.
High speed Internet and wider coverage of data connections, at lower prices, allowing
larger traffic rates, more reliable simpler traffic, and traffic from more locations,
The gradually accelerating perception of the ability of computers to create new means and
approaches to communication, the emergence of social media and websites such as Twitter
and Facebook to their later prominence, and global collaborations such as Wikipedia (which
existed before but gained prominence as a result),and shortly after (approximately 2007–2008
onward): The mobile revolution, which provided access
to the Internet to much of human society of all ages, in their daily lives, and allowed
them to share, discuss, and continually update, inquire, and respond.
Non-volatile RAM rapidly grew in size and reliability, and decreased in price, becoming
a commodity capable of enabling high levels of computing activity on these small handheld
devices as well as solid-state drives (SSD). An emphasis on power efficient processor and
device design, rather than purely high processing power; one of the beneficiaries of this was
ARM, a British company which had focused since the 1980s on powerful but low cost simple
microprocessors. ARM architecture rapidly gained dominance in the market for mobile
and embedded devices.With the call to Web 2.0, the period up to around 2004–2005 was
retrospectively named and described by some as Web 1.0.====Web 2.0====The term “Web 2.0” describes websites that
emphasize user-generated content (including user-to-user interaction), usability, and
interoperability. It first appeared in a January 1999 article called “Fragmented Future” written
by Darcy DiNucci, a consultant on electronic information design, where she wrote:
“The Web we know now, which loads into a browser window in essentially static screenfuls, is
only an embryo of the Web to come. The first glimmerings of Web 2.0 are beginning to appear,
and we are just starting to see how that embryo might develop. The Web will be understood
not as screenfuls of text and graphics but as a transport mechanism, the ether through
which interactivity happens. It will […] appear on your computer screen, […] on your TV
set […] your car dashboard […] your cell phone […] hand-held game machines […] maybe
even your microwave oven.”The term resurfaced during 2002 – 2004, and gained prominence
in late 2004 following presentations by Tim O’Reilly and Dale Dougherty at the first Web
2.0 Conference. In their opening remarks, John Battelle and Tim O’Reilly outlined their
definition of the “Web as Platform”, where software applications are built upon the Web
as opposed to upon the desktop. The unique aspect of this migration, they argued, is
that “customers are building your business for you”. They argued that the activities
of users generating content (in the form of ideas, text, videos, or pictures) could be
“harnessed” to create value. Web 2.0 does not refer to an update to any
technical specification, but rather to cumulative changes in the way Web pages are made and
used. Web 2.0 describes an approach, in which sites focus substantially upon allowing users
to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators of
user-generated content in a virtual community, in contrast to Web sites where people are
limited to the passive viewing of content. Examples of Web 2.0 include social networking
sites, blogs, wikis, folksonomies, video sharing sites, hosted services, Web applications,
and mashups. Terry Flew, in his 3rd Edition of New Media described what he believed to
characterize the differences between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0: “[The] move from personal websites to blogs
and blog site aggregation, from publishing to participation, from web content as the
outcome of large up-front investment to an ongoing and interactive process, and from
content management systems to links based on tagging (folksonomy)”.This era saw several
household names gain prominence through their community-oriented operation – YouTube,
Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and Wikipedia being some examples.====The mobile revolution====The process of change generally described
as “Web 2.0” was itself greatly accelerated and transformed only a short time later by
the increasing growth in mobile devices. This mobile revolution meant that computers in
the form of smartphones became something many people used, took with them everywhere, communicated
with, used for photographs and videos they instantly shared or to shop or seek information
“on the move” – and used socially, as opposed to items on a desk at home or just used for
work. Location-based services, services using location
and other sensor information, and crowdsourcing (frequently but not always location based),
became common, with posts tagged by location, or websites and services becoming location
aware. Mobile-targeted websites (such as “m.website.com”) became common, designed especially for the
new devices used. Netbooks, ultrabooks, widespread 4G and Wi-Fi, and mobile chips capable or
running at nearly the power of desktops from not many years before on far lower power usage,
became enablers of this stage of Internet development, and the term “App” emerged (short
for “Application program” or “Program”) as did the “App store”.===Networking in outer space===The first Internet link into low earth orbit
was established on January 22, 2010 when astronaut T. J. Creamer posted the first unassisted
update to his Twitter account from the International Space Station, marking the extension of the
Internet into space. (Astronauts at the ISS had used email and Twitter before, but these
messages had been relayed to the ground through a NASA data link before being posted by a
human proxy.) This personal Web access, which NASA calls the Crew Support LAN, uses the
space station’s high-speed Ku band microwave link. To surf the Web, astronauts can use
a station laptop computer to control a desktop computer on Earth, and they can talk to their
families and friends on Earth using Voice over IP equipment.Communication with spacecraft
beyond earth orbit has traditionally been over point-to-point links through the Deep
Space Network. Each such data link must be manually scheduled and configured. In the
late 1990s NASA and Google began working on a new network protocol, Delay-tolerant networking
(DTN) which automates this process, allows networking of spaceborne transmission nodes,
and takes the fact into account that spacecraft can temporarily lose contact because they
move behind the Moon or planets, or because space weather disrupts the connection. Under
such conditions, DTN retransmits data packages instead of dropping them, as the standard
TCP/IP Internet Protocol does. NASA conducted the first field test of what it calls the
“deep space internet” in November 2008. Testing of DTN-based communications between the International
Space Station and Earth (now termed Disruption-Tolerant Networking) has been ongoing since March 2009,
and is scheduled to continue until March 2014.This network technology is supposed to ultimately
enable missions that involve multiple spacecraft where reliable inter-vessel communication
might take precedence over vessel-to-earth downlinks. According to a February 2011 statement
by Google’s Vint Cerf, the so-called “Bundle protocols” have been uploaded to NASA’s EPOXI
mission spacecraft (which is in orbit around the Sun) and communication with Earth has
been tested at a distance of approximately 80 light seconds.==Internet governance==As a globally distributed network of voluntarily
interconnected autonomous networks, the Internet operates without a central governing body.
It has no centralized governance for either technology or policies, and each constituent
network chooses what technologies and protocols it will deploy from the voluntary technical
standards that are developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). However, throughout
its entire history, the Internet system has had an “Internet Assigned Numbers Authority”
(IANA) for the allocation and assignment of various technical identifiers needed for the
operation of the Internet. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) provides
oversight and coordination for two principal name spaces in the Internet, the Internet
Protocol address space and the Domain Name System.===NIC, InterNIC, IANA and ICANN===The IANA function was originally performed
by USC Information Sciences Institute (ISI), and it delegated portions of this responsibility
with respect to numeric network and autonomous system identifiers to the Network Information
Center (NIC) at Stanford Research Institute (SRI International) in Menlo Park, California.
ISI’s Jonathan Postel managed the IANA, served as RFC Editor and performed other key roles
until his premature death in 1998.As the early ARPANET grew, hosts were referred to by names,
and a HOSTS.TXT file would be distributed from SRI International to each host on the
network. As the network grew, this became cumbersome. A technical solution came in the
form of the Domain Name System, created by ISI’s Paul Mockapetris in 1983. The Defense
Data Network—Network Information Center (DDN-NIC) at SRI handled all registration
services, including the top-level domains (TLDs) of .mil, .gov, .edu, .org, .net, .com
and .us, root nameserver administration and Internet number assignments under a United
States Department of Defense contract. In 1991, the Defense Information Systems Agency
(DISA) awarded the administration and maintenance of DDN-NIC (managed by SRI up until this point)
to Government Systems, Inc., who subcontracted it to the small private-sector Network Solutions,
Inc.The increasing cultural diversity of the Internet also posed administrative challenges
for centralized management of the IP addresses. In October 1992, the Internet Engineering
Task Force (IETF) published RFC 1366, which described the “growth of the Internet and
its increasing globalization” and set out the basis for an evolution of the IP registry
process, based on a regionally distributed registry model. This document stressed the
need for a single Internet number registry to exist in each geographical region of the
world (which would be of “continental dimensions”). Registries would be “unbiased and widely recognized
by network providers and subscribers” within their region.
The RIPE Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC) was established as the first RIR in May
1992. The second RIR, the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC), was established
in Tokyo in 1993, as a pilot project of the Asia Pacific Networking Group.Since at this
point in history most of the growth on the Internet was coming from non-military sources,
it was decided that the Department of Defense would no longer fund registration services
outside of the .mil TLD. In 1993 the U.S. National Science Foundation, after a competitive
bidding process in 1992, created the InterNIC to manage the allocations of addresses and
management of the address databases, and awarded the contract to three organizations. Registration
Services would be provided by Network Solutions; Directory and Database Services would be provided
by AT&T; and Information Services would be provided by General Atomics.Over time, after
consultation with the IANA, the IETF, RIPE NCC, APNIC, and the Federal Networking Council
(FNC), the decision was made to separate the management of domain names from the management
of IP numbers. Following the examples of RIPE NCC and APNIC, it was recommended that management
of IP address space then administered by the InterNIC should be under the control of those
that use it, specifically the ISPs, end-user organizations, corporate entities, universities,
and individuals. As a result, the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) was established
as in December 1997, as an independent, not-for-profit corporation by direction of the National Science
Foundation and became the third Regional Internet Registry.In 1998, both the IANA and remaining
DNS-related InterNIC functions were reorganized under the control of ICANN, a California non-profit
corporation contracted by the United States Department of Commerce to manage a number
of Internet-related tasks. As these tasks involved technical coordination for two principal
Internet name spaces (DNS names and IP addresses) created by the IETF, ICANN also signed a memorandum
of understanding with the IAB to define the technical work to be carried out by the Internet
Assigned Numbers Authority. The management of Internet address space remained with the
regional Internet registries, which collectively were defined as a supporting organization
within the ICANN structure. ICANN provides central coordination for the DNS system, including
policy coordination for the split registry / registrar system, with competition among
registry service providers to serve each top-level-domain and multiple competing registrars offering
DNS services to end-users.===
Internet Engineering Task Force===The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
is the largest and most visible of several loosely related ad-hoc groups that provide
technical direction for the Internet, including the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), the
Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG), and the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF).
The IETF is a loosely self-organized group of international volunteers who contribute
to the engineering and evolution of Internet technologies. It is the principal body engaged
in the development of new Internet standard specifications. Much of the work of the IETF
is organized into Working Groups. Standardization efforts of the Working Groups are often adopted
by the Internet community, but the IETF does not control or patrol the Internet.The IETF
grew out of quarterly meeting of U.S. government-funded researchers, starting in January 1986. Non-government
representatives were invited by the fourth IETF meeting in October 1986. The concept
of Working Groups was introduced at the fifth meeting in February 1987. The seventh meeting
in July 1987 was the first meeting with more than one hundred attendees. In 1992, the Internet
Society, a professional membership society, was formed and IETF began to operate under
it as an independent international standards body. The first IETF meeting outside of the
United States was held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in July 1993. Today, the IETF meets three
times per year and attendance has been as high as ca. 2,000 participants. Typically
one in three IETF meetings are held in Europe or Asia. The number of non-US attendees is
typically ca. 50%, even at meetings held in the United States.The IETF is not a legal
entity, has no governing board, no members, and no dues. The closest status resembling
membership is being on an IETF or Working Group mailing list. IETF volunteers come from
all over the world and from many different parts of the Internet community. The IETF
works closely with and under the supervision of the Internet Engineering Steering Group
(IESG) and the Internet Architecture Board (IAB). The Internet Research Task Force (IRTF)
and the Internet Research Steering Group (IRSG), peer activities to the IETF and IESG under
the general supervision of the IAB, focus on longer term research issues.====Request for Comments====
Request for Comments (RFCs) are the main documentation for the work of the IAB, IESG, IETF, and IRTF.
RFC 1, “Host Software”, was written by Steve Crocker at UCLA in April 1969, well before
the IETF was created. Originally they were technical memos documenting aspects of ARPANET
development and were edited by Jon Postel, the first RFC Editor.RFCs cover a wide range
of information from proposed standards, draft standards, full standards, best practices,
experimental protocols, history, and other informational topics. RFCs can be written
by individuals or informal groups of individuals, but many are the product of a more formal
Working Group. Drafts are submitted to the IESG either by individuals or by the Working
Group Chair. An RFC Editor, appointed by the IAB, separate from IANA, and working in conjunction
with the IESG, receives drafts from the IESG and edits, formats, and publishes them. Once
an RFC is published, it is never revised. If the standard it describes changes or its
information becomes obsolete, the revised standard or updated information will be re-published
as a new RFC that “obsoletes” the original.===The Internet Society===
The Internet Society (ISOC) is an international, nonprofit organization founded during 1992
“to assure the open development, evolution and use of the Internet for the benefit of
all people throughout the world”. With offices near Washington, DC, USA, and in Geneva, Switzerland,
ISOC has a membership base comprising more than 80 organizational and more than 50,000
individual members. Members also form “chapters” based on either common geographical location
or special interests. There are currently more than 90 chapters around the world.ISOC
provides financial and organizational support to and promotes the work of the standards
settings bodies for which it is the organizational home: the Internet Engineering Task Force
(IETF), the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG),
and the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF). ISOC also promotes understanding and appreciation
of the Internet model of open, transparent processes and consensus-based decision-making.===
Globalization and Internet governance in the 21st century===
Since the 1990s, the Internet’s governance and organization has been of global importance
to governments, commerce, civil society, and individuals. The organizations which held
control of certain technical aspects of the Internet were the successors of the old ARPANET
oversight and the current decision-makers in the day-to-day technical aspects of the
network. While recognized as the administrators of certain aspects of the Internet, their
roles and their decision-making authority are limited and subject to increasing international
scrutiny and increasing objections. These objections have led to the ICANN removing
themselves from relationships with first the University of Southern California in 2000,
and in September 2009, gaining autonomy from the US government by the ending of its longstanding
agreements, although some contractual obligations with the U.S. Department of Commerce continued.
Finally, on October 1, 2016 ICANN ended its contract with the United States Department
of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), allowing
oversight to pass to the global Internet community.The IETF, with financial and organizational support
from the Internet Society, continues to serve as the Internet’s ad-hoc standards body and
issues Request for Comments. In November 2005, the World Summit on the
Information Society, held in Tunis, called for an Internet Governance Forum (IGF) to
be convened by United Nations Secretary General. The IGF opened an ongoing, non-binding conversation
among stakeholders representing governments, the private sector, civil society, and the
technical and academic communities about the future of Internet governance. The first IGF
meeting was held in October/November 2006 with follow up meetings annually thereafter.
Since WSIS, the term “Internet governance” has been broadened beyond narrow technical
concerns to include a wider range of Internet-related policy issues.==Politicization of the Internet==
Due to its prominence and immediacy as an effective means of mass communication, the
Internet has also become more politicized as it has grown. This has led in turn, to
discourses and activities that would once have taken place in other ways, migrating
to being mediated by internet. Examples include political activities such
as public protest and canvassing of support and votes, but also – The spreading of ideas and opinions;
Recruitment of followers, and “coming together” of members of the public, for ideas, products,
and causes; Providing and widely distributing and sharing
information that might be deemed sensitive or relates to whistleblowing (and efforts
by specific countries to prevent this by censorship); Criminal activity and terrorism (and resulting
law enforcement use, together with its facilitation by mass surveillance);
Politically-motivated fake news.===Net neutrality===On April 23, 2014, the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) was reported to be considering a new rule that would permit Internet service
providers to offer content providers a faster track to send content, thus reversing their
earlier net neutrality position. A possible solution to net neutrality concerns may be
municipal broadband, according to Professor Susan Crawford, a legal and technology expert
at Harvard Law School. On May 15, 2014, the FCC decided to consider two options regarding
Internet services: first, permit fast and slow broadband lanes, thereby compromising
net neutrality; and second, reclassify broadband as a telecommunication service, thereby preserving
net neutrality. On November 10, 2014, President Obama recommended the FCC reclassify broadband
Internet service as a telecommunications service in order to preserve net neutrality. On January
16, 2015, Republicans presented legislation, in the form of a U.S. Congress H. R. discussion
draft bill, that makes concessions to net neutrality but prohibits the FCC from accomplishing
the goal or enacting any further regulation affecting Internet service providers (ISPs).
On January 31, 2015, AP News reported that the FCC will present the notion of applying
(“with some caveats”) Title II (common carrier) of the Communications Act of 1934 to the internet
in a vote expected on February 26, 2015. Adoption of this notion would reclassify internet service
from one of information to one of telecommunications and, according to Tom Wheeler, chairman of
the FCC, ensure net neutrality. The FCC is expected to enforce net neutrality in its
vote, according to The New York Times.On February 26, 2015, the FCC ruled in favor of net neutrality
by applying Title II (common carrier) of the Communications Act of 1934 and Section 706
of the Telecommunications act of 1996 to the Internet. The FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler, commented,
“This is no more a plan to regulate the Internet than the First Amendment is a plan to regulate
free speech. They both stand for the same concept.”On March 12, 2015, the FCC released
the specific details of the net neutrality rules. On April 13, 2015, the FCC published
the final rule on its new “Net Neutrality” regulations.On December 14, 2017, the F.C.C
Repealed their March 12, 2015 decision by a 3-2 vote regarding net neutrality rules.==Use and culture=====
Email and Usenet===E-mail has often been called the killer application
of the Internet. It predates the Internet, and was a crucial tool in creating it. Email
started in 1965 as a way for multiple users of a time-sharing mainframe computer to communicate.
Although the history is undocumented, among the first systems to have such a facility
were the System Development Corporation (SDC) Q32 and the Compatible Time-Sharing System
(CTSS) at MIT.The ARPANET computer network made a large contribution to the evolution
of electronic mail. An experimental inter-system transferred mail on the ARPANET shortly after
its creation. In 1971 Ray Tomlinson created what was to become the standard Internet electronic
mail addressing format, using the @ sign to separate mailbox names from host names.A number
of protocols were developed to deliver messages among groups of time-sharing computers over
alternative transmission systems, such as UUCP and IBM’s VNET email system. Email could
be passed this way between a number of networks, including ARPANET, BITNET and NSFNET, as well
as to hosts connected directly to other sites via UUCP. See the history of SMTP protocol.
In addition, UUCP allowed the publication of text files that could be read by many others.
The News software developed by Steve Daniel and Tom Truscott in 1979 was used to distribute
news and bulletin board-like messages. This quickly grew into discussion groups, known
as newsgroups, on a wide range of topics. On ARPANET and NSFNET similar discussion groups
would form via mailing lists, discussing both technical issues and more culturally focused
topics (such as science fiction, discussed on the sflovers mailing list).
During the early years of the Internet, email and similar mechanisms were also fundamental
to allow people to access resources that were not available due to the absence of online
connectivity. UUCP was often used to distribute files using the ‘alt.binary’ groups. Also,
FTP e-mail gateways allowed people that lived outside the US and Europe to download files
using ftp commands written inside email messages. The file was encoded, broken in pieces and
sent by email; the receiver had to reassemble and decode it later, and it was the only way
for people living overseas to download items such as the earlier Linux versions using the
slow dial-up connections available at the time. After the popularization of the Web
and the HTTP protocol such tools were slowly abandoned.===From Gopher to the WWW===As the Internet grew through the 1980s and
early 1990s, many people realized the increasing need to be able to find and organize files
and information. Projects such as Archie, Gopher, WAIS, and the FTP Archive list attempted
to create ways to organize distributed data. In the early 1990s, Gopher, invented by Mark
P. McCahill offered a viable alternative to the World Wide Web. However, in 1993 the World
Wide Web saw many advances to indexing and ease of access through search engines, which
often neglected Gopher and Gopherspace. As popularity increased through ease of use,
investment incentives also grew until in the middle of 1994 the WWW’s popularity gained
the upper hand. Then it became clear that Gopher and the other projects were doomed
fall short.One of the most promising user interface paradigms during this period was
hypertext. The technology had been inspired by Vannevar Bush’s “Memex” and developed through
Ted Nelson’s research on Project Xanadu and Douglas Engelbart’s research on NLS. Many
small self-contained hypertext systems had been created before, such as Apple Computer’s
HyperCard (1987). Gopher became the first commonly used hypertext interface to the Internet.
While Gopher menu items were examples of hypertext, they were not commonly perceived in that way. In 1989, while working at CERN, Tim Berners-Lee
invented a network-based implementation of the hypertext concept. By releasing his invention
to public use, he ensured the technology would become widespread. For his work in developing
the World Wide Web, Berners-Lee received the Millennium technology prize in 2004. One early
popular web browser, modeled after HyperCard, was ViolaWWW.
A turning point for the World Wide Web began with the introduction of the Mosaic web browser
in 1993, a graphical browser developed by a team at the National Center for Supercomputing
Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (NCSA-UIUC), led by
Marc Andreessen. Funding for Mosaic came from the High-Performance Computing and Communications
Initiative, a funding program initiated by the High Performance Computing and Communication
Act of 1991, also known as the “Gore Bill”. Mosaic’s graphical interface soon became more
popular than Gopher, which at the time was primarily text-based, and the WWW became the
preferred interface for accessing the Internet. (Gore’s reference to his role in “creating
the Internet”, however, was ridiculed in his presidential election campaign. See the full
article Al Gore and information technology). Mosaic was superseded in 1994 by Andreessen’s
Netscape Navigator, which replaced Mosaic as the world’s most popular browser. While
it held this title for some time, eventually competition from Internet Explorer and a variety
of other browsers almost completely displaced it. Another important event held on January
11, 1994, was The Superhighway Summit at UCLA’s Royce Hall. This was the “first public conference
bringing together all of the major industry, government and academic leaders in the field
[and] also began the national dialogue about the Information Superhighway and its implications.”24
Hours in Cyberspace, “the largest one-day online event” (February 8, 1996) up to that
date, took place on the then-active website, cyber24.com. It was headed by photographer
Rick Smolan. A photographic exhibition was unveiled at the Smithsonian Institution’s
National Museum of American History on January 23, 1997, featuring 70 photos from the project.===Search engines===Even before the World Wide Web, there were
search engines that attempted to organize the Internet. The first of these was the Archie
search engine from McGill University in 1990, followed in 1991 by WAIS and Gopher. All three
of those systems predated the invention of the World Wide Web but all continued to index
the Web and the rest of the Internet for several years after the Web appeared. There are still
Gopher servers as of 2006, although there are a great many more web servers.
As the Web grew, search engines and Web directories were created to track pages on the Web and
allow people to find things. The first full-text Web search engine was WebCrawler in 1994.
Before WebCrawler, only Web page titles were searched. Another early search engine, Lycos,
was created in 1993 as a university project, and was the first to achieve commercial success.
During the late 1990s, both Web directories and Web search engines were popular—Yahoo!
(founded 1994) and Altavista (founded 1995) were the respective industry leaders. By August
2001, the directory model had begun to give way to search engines, tracking the rise of
Google (founded 1998), which had developed new approaches to relevancy ranking. Directory
features, while still commonly available, became after-thoughts to search engines.
Database size, which had been a significant marketing feature through the early 2000s,
was similarly displaced by emphasis on relevancy ranking, the methods by which search engines
attempt to sort the best results first. Relevancy ranking first became a major issue circa 1996,
when it became apparent that it was impractical to review full lists of results. Consequently,
algorithms for relevancy ranking have continuously improved. Google’s PageRank method for ordering
the results has received the most press, but all major search engines continually refine
their ranking methodologies with a view toward improving the ordering of results. As of 2006,
search engine rankings are more important than ever, so much so that an industry has
developed (“search engine optimizers”, or “SEO”) to help web-developers improve their
search ranking, and an entire body of case law has developed around matters that affect
search engine rankings, such as use of trademarks in metatags. The sale of search rankings by
some search engines has also created controversy among librarians and consumer advocates.On
June 3, 2009, Microsoft launched its new search engine, Bing. The following month Microsoft
and Yahoo! announced a deal in which Bing would power Yahoo! Search.===File sharing===Resource or file sharing has been an important
activity on computer networks from well before the Internet was established and was supported
in a variety of ways including bulletin board systems (1978), Usenet (1980), Kermit (1981),
and many others. The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) for use on the Internet was standardized
in 1985 and is still in use today. A variety of tools were developed to aid the use of
FTP by helping users discover files they might want to transfer, including the Wide Area
Information Server (WAIS) in 1991, Gopher in 1991, Archie in 1991, Veronica in 1992,
Jughead in 1993, Internet Relay Chat (IRC) in 1988, and eventually the World Wide Web
(WWW) in 1991 with Web directories and Web search engines.
In 1999, Napster became the first peer-to-peer file sharing system. Napster used a central
server for indexing and peer discovery, but the storage and transfer of files was decentralized.
A variety of peer-to-peer file sharing programs and services with different levels of decentralization
and anonymity followed, including: Gnutella, eDonkey2000, and Freenet in 2000, FastTrack,
Kazaa, Limewire, and BitTorrent in 2001, and Poisoned in 2003.All of these tools are general
purpose and can be used to share a wide variety of content, but sharing of music files, software,
and later movies and videos are major uses. And while some of this sharing is legal, large
portions are not. Lawsuits and other legal actions caused Napster in 2001, eDonkey2000
in 2005, Kazaa in 2006, and Limewire in 2010 to shut down or refocus their efforts. The
Pirate Bay, founded in Sweden in 2003, continues despite a trial and appeal in 2009 and 2010
that resulted in jail terms and large fines for several of its founders. File sharing
remains contentious and controversial with charges of theft of intellectual property
on the one hand and charges of censorship on the other.===Dot-com bubble===Suddenly the low price of reaching millions
worldwide, and the possibility of selling to or hearing from those people at the same
moment when they were reached, promised to overturn established business dogma in advertising,
mail-order sales, customer relationship management, and many more areas. The web was a new killer
app—it could bring together unrelated buyers and sellers in seamless and low-cost ways.
Entrepreneurs around the world developed new business models, and ran to their nearest
venture capitalist. While some of the new entrepreneurs had experience in business and
economics, the majority were simply people with ideas, and did not manage the capital
influx prudently. Additionally, many dot-com business plans were predicated on the assumption
that by using the Internet, they would bypass the distribution channels of existing businesses
and therefore not have to compete with them; when the established businesses with strong
existing brands developed their own Internet presence, these hopes were shattered, and
the newcomers were left attempting to break into markets dominated by larger, more established
businesses. Many did not have the ability to do so.
The dot-com bubble burst in March 2000, with the technology heavy NASDAQ Composite index
peaking at 5,048.62 on March 10 (5,132.52 intraday), more than double its value just
a year before. By 2001, the bubble’s deflation was running full speed. A majority of the
dot-coms had ceased trading, after having burnt through their venture capital and IPO
capital, often without ever making a profit. But despite this, the Internet continues to
grow, driven by commerce, ever greater amounts of online information and knowledge and social
networking.===Mobile phones and the Internet===The first mobile phone with Internet connectivity
was the Nokia 9000 Communicator, launched in Finland in 1996. The viability of Internet
services access on mobile phones was limited until prices came down from that model, and
network providers started to develop systems and services conveniently accessible on phones.
NTT DoCoMo in Japan launched the first mobile Internet service, i-mode, in 1999 and this
is considered the birth of the mobile phone Internet services. In 2001, the mobile phone
email system by Research in Motion (now BlackBerry Limited) for their BlackBerry product was
launched in America. To make efficient use of the small screen and tiny keypad and one-handed
operation typical of mobile phones, a specific document and networking model was created
for mobile devices, the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP). Most mobile device Internet
services operate using WAP. The growth of mobile phone services was initially a primarily
Asian phenomenon with Japan, South Korea and Taiwan all soon finding the majority of their
Internet users accessing resources by phone rather than by PC. Developing countries followed,
with India, South Africa, Kenya, the Philippines, and Pakistan all reporting that the majority
of their domestic users accessed the Internet from a mobile phone rather than a PC. The
European and North American use of the Internet was influenced by a large installed base of
personal computers, and the growth of mobile phone Internet access was more gradual, but
had reached national penetration levels of 20–30% in most Western countries. The cross-over
occurred in 2008, when more Internet access devices were mobile phones than personal computers.
In many parts of the developing world, the ratio is as much as 10 mobile phone users
to one PC user.==Web technologies==
Web pages were initially conceived as structured documents based upon Hypertext Markup Language
(HTML) which can allow access to images, video, and other content. Hyperlinks in the page
permit users to navigate to other pages. In the earliest browsers, images opened in a
separate “helper” application. Marc Andreessen’s 1993 Mosaic and 1994 Netscape introduced mixed
text and images for non-technical users. HTML evolved during the 1990s, leading to HTML
4 which introduced large elements of CSS styling and, later, extensions to allow browser code
to make calls and ask for content from servers in a structured way (AJAX).==Historiography==
There are nearly insurmountable problems in supplying a historiography of the Internet’s
development. The process of digitization represents a twofold challenge both for historiography
in general and, in particular, for historical communication research. A sense of the difficulty
in documenting early developments that led to the internet can be gathered from the quote: “The Arpanet period is somewhat well documented
because the corporation in charge – BBN – left a physical record. Moving into the
NSFNET era, it became an extraordinarily decentralized process. The record exists in people’s basements,
in closets. … So much of what happened was done verbally and on the basis of individual
trust.”==See also

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